Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cooking Aboard: Advenures in 'Wild' Game

Guess that meat.

Can anyone guess what this is?! It is getting cold here and the pressure cooker is back in full rotation. All summer we mostly used the grill for dinner but now that the weather is changing we are back to eating stews, curries, and warm soups. This one is an especially interesting fall meal choice. Anyone recognize that animal??

Delicious Brunswick Stew

Monday, October 28, 2013

More About the Decks


It rained last night and when we woke up the boat was reasonably dry inside. We still have some bungs and a window leak to address not to mention the entire port side but the level of wetness was beyond acceptable. This process (and owning a wooden boat in general) can be really stressful. In Maryland it rains all the time and it is really hard to get anything done without worrying whether or not it is going to rain any second. I have had a hard time managing the stress to be honest. This project was not the worst we have faced to date and I'm sure there will be many worse to come. 

Matt used the FEIN multimaster to reef out all the of the seam compound from between the planks. After removing the bulk of the old rubbery stuff he used his Rigid trim router with a small blade to clean the rest of the seam out. The cotton caulking was intact in most places and really didn't need extensive attention. After routing the seams he pounded cotton in the few places it was missing. After all the power tooling, there was A LOT of hand sanding. This involved a special tool that Teak Decking Systems makes with 40 girt in combination with a mixing stick with sticky back 80 grit. Huge pain in the ass. 

After 4 days of preparing for new seam compound after work my hands were blistered and Matt was bleeding. Matt gave it the old, 'eh, looks good enough to me' and I gave him the, 'you know we need to prep this better, we are half-assing it' look. After a heated discussion we decided it was good enough. We purchased 12 sausage tubes of Teak Decking Systems to used with our friends electric sausage caulk gun. He assured us that this was the way to go and it would be a thousand times easier than using traditional caulk cartridges. When it came time to being ready to put the poo in the seams we walked up to the carpentry shop to get the fancy awesome tool and alas, the charger was gone. It caught a ride on a boat to Tortola. I told Matt not to stress and I would just go to Home Depot and purchase one. It would still be worth it in time and energy saved. 

Unfortunately, after 2 hours of driving around and calling every place I could think of I found out that no one in this county carries 14.4 volt Milwaukee chargers or new electric sausage style caulking guns, nor manual sausage style caulking guns. I am sure that some industry out there uses these things but I couldn't find any for the life of me. I returned to the marina defeated and discouraged. I got back to the boat and Matt was wiping down the seams with Acetone and a rag. He could tell I was about to have a break down and swooped me right back up. He didn't let it ruin our day. 

The painter at the boatyard had the ingenious idea to buy empty standard caulking tubes and just squeeze the sausage tubes into the empty tubes. I ran back out to the local chandlery and bought the 4 they had in stock. We taped the deck to avoid having to do extra sanding afterwords. Matt made quick work of the first 4 tubes pushing the compound in the seams. We used compressed air to refill the used empty cartridges. It worked like a charm and we got it done. My knuckles are still swollen and we have the entire other side to do still. Sometimes it feels like there isn't enough time...


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Let There be Light

Finally got these bad boys installed. We had previously been living with a small flexible solar panel that we usually lay across the cabin top. It worked well enough to keep our start battery and radio running but not much else. We have been living at the dock for so long now that I almost forgot how to live off the grid. Almost. When we got here two years ago one of our dock neighbors was nice enough to give  us these two 80watt panels. (Thanks Craig and Jill!!) Since we had been living literally under cover for over a year they never got installed until now. 

Matt fabricated the mounts so that the panels swivel up and down. This is necessary for us since we don't have an arch or hard dodger, and to be honest, I think it preserves the classic lines of the boat to mount them this way. Not to mention the fact that we didn't need to purchase anything by doing it this way. Matt used some scraps and short pieces of stainless tubing for the mount. For the wiring, he drilled holes in the side of the stanchions on each side. Then drilled 5" deep holes through the covering board so that the wires wouldn't be led across the deck.

We haven't figured out how to prop them up yet to take advantage of sunlight directly from above but we will soon. Depending on how much time we have left after everything else we may end up installing some sort of gas struts... knowing us through, we will run out of time and money and just jam a piece of wood with a dove tails at the ends to hold it up. Ha.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Old dog, new tricks

Matt is trying to teach my dad how to splice. Old dog is trying to learn young dog's tricks. Funny watching. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Recaulking the Deck

I've been pretty quiet lately and this is why. We decided to re-caulk our decks and have been playing weather windows nonstop. We got the new paying in the seams on the starboard side. We still need to sand so don't be too critical quite yet but I think it turned out pretty nicely. We have the entire port side to reef still but we will get it done later this week then we will sand the whole deck down to fresh teak. 

We were missing cotton in a few places so Matt pounded cotton (actually re-caulked) in a few places to help fix a few known leaks. Hopefully we will address all of the leaks by the time we are finished. Fingers crossed. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Every night we get closer. Last night Matt rewired the dc electrical. Tonight is the navigation lights. We are working double time after our day jobs to get the boat ready to leave. We really don't want to spend another winter in Maryland so it's gonna be all business from here on out. Lots to do still but it feels good to be checking things off the list. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fall Sunset

Been busy around here getting ready for sailboat show. Had to stop for the sunset last night. It was amazing.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Transmission Update

The transmission is back in the boat. As of today it is fully rebuilt and running. We are still awaiting the officially 'sounds good' from our mechanic but he said that it is fine. This marks the end of the engine rebuild. It has been a VERY long process and we spent more money than we expected but that is how boat projects go I guess. Either way, it feels amazing to have mobility again. This project was really an anchor for us and we are happy to be floating, motoring, and soon to be sailing.